What is Cystitis?
Cystitis is an infection of the bladder, and is also commonly referred to as a urinary tract infection (UTI). It is often used to describe a wide range of infections, inflammations, or irritations of the lower urinary tract. Cystitis occurs when bacteria enters the bladder via the urethra (the tube that goes from the bladder out of the body). Because the urethra is located near the anal area, infection tends to occur quite easily. Women have a shorter urethra than men and are subsequently more prone to cystitis. Pregnant, menopausal and sexually active women may experience frequent episodes of this bladder infection, but it can affect all age groups from either sex. Though cystitis is less common in men, it can be caused by an enlarged prostate. If not treated immediately, it can become very serious. Recurring episodes of cystitis require medical attention, while a milder case can be treated at home. There are numerous ways to control and treat the pain and discomfort caused by this condition. Various treatment options such as conventional drug therapies, complementary and alternative therapies are available to relieve the symptoms of cystitis.
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The diagnosis of cystitis is partly based on the symptoms and signs. The most obvious symptom of cystitis is a burning sensation when urinating, usually accompanied by a nagging need for frequent urination every few minutes. Severe pain, lower abdominal pain, traces of blood in the urine, strong smelling urine, and overall discomfort are also usually felt.
Tests for Cystitis
Urine test by using a dipstick in the urine sample Urine culture where specimen is sent to a laboratory to examine bacteria
For recurrent cystitis or in the case of inexplicable infections, further tests may include:
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Ultrasound scan X-ray Cytoscopy (fiber-optic examination of the bladder)
What are the Symptoms of Cystitis?
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Burning sensation when urinating Frequent urination Feeling of incomplete emptying after urination Sense of urgency to urinate Dark, cloudy, strong smelling urine Pain felt directly above pubic bone Pain in lower back or abdomen
What Causes Cystitis?
The most common cause of cystitis is a bacterial infection from the genital area. There are many factors that contribute to bacteria settling in the bladder.
Major Causes of Cystitis-Inducing Bacteria
Poor toilet hygiene – women must wipe themselves front to back to avoid bacteria being spread from the anus to the urethra. An enlarged prostate gland in men causes blockage of urine. outflow, and bladder infections can occur in the ‘stagnant’ urine in the bladder. Individuals with a catheter have a higher risk of infections such as cystitis and blood infections. A congenital deformity in the urinary system prevents complete emptying of the bladder. Pregnant women may have bacteria in their urine caused by not emptying their bladders completely. If this is the case, a urine culture test is often performed twice to prevent the risk of kidney infection and pre-term delivery. ‘Honeymoon cystitis’ often occurs when women engage in vigorous or frequent physical activity, which causes bruising and physical damage. Contact dermatitis can develop when women use irritants such as bath oil or talc on their genital area, leading to cystitis. Postmenopausal women experience many changes in their body due to a lack of female sex hormones, and as a result, the urinary system is more prone to developing cystitis. Women who use a diaphragm as a method of contraception are more prone to cystitis.
Michele Carelse, Clinical Psychologist
Note: Venereal diseases such as Gonorrhea and Chlamydia have cystitis-like symptoms, such as a burning sensation when urinating, an inflamed cervix, vaginal discharge, and bleeding after intercourse. If a cystitis infection does not respond well to treatment, it is important to have a medical examination to rule out other conditions which may need treatment.
All of our natural remedies are formulated by our expert team of herbalists, naturopaths and homeopaths, and headed by Michele Carelse. Michele has had years of experience in the manufacturing and use of natural remedies. In addition, she is a trained Clinical Psychologist and has been incorporating natural remedies into her treatment of patients with depression, anxiety, ADD, ADHD and stress for many years with spectacular results.
Help for Cystitis
There are various treatments used to treat and relieve the symptoms of cystitis. These may include drug therapy as well as complementary and natural therapies, as well as education and preventative measures.
Drug therapy includes:
Over-the-counter drugs such as painkillers or antispasmodics, e.g. paracetamol or ibuprofen Over-the-counter solutions to relieve cystitis symptoms such as citrate or potassium citrate Antibiotics such as Amoxicillin and Sulfa drugs (sulfonamides) Surgery may be recommended for complicated cystitis if there is an underlying physical abnormality or cause
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Complementary therapy includes:
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Acupuncture Naturopathy Nutritional therapies Pelvic floor treatments (to strengthen the pelvic floor muscles) Massage Biofeedback
Pregnant women should consult their GP or pharmacist before taking any medication. Use these therapies as part of your broader treatment plan to reduce discomfort and pain.
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Is there a Natural Treatment for Cystitis?
Natural treatments such as herbal medicine and homeopathic therapies can be very successful in clearing infection and alleviating the symptoms of cystitis, while also promoting overall health and well-being. Herbal remedies are safe, effective, and free of harmful side effects. Some commonly recommended herbal remedies for bladder infections and cystitis include Agothosma betulina (Buchu), Arctostaphylos uva-ursi, Melissa Officinalis (Lemon balm), Avena Sativa, Hypericum perforatum (St. John's Wort), Vaccinium myrtillus (Billberry) and Echinacea angustifolia. Homeopathic remedies can also be very successful and will depend on the symptoms experienced as well as the physical composition of the individual. One of the advantages of natural treatment is the avoidance of antibiotics, which are well known to increase the incidence of repeat infections. Consult an herbalist or homeopath to help you choose a remedy based on your symptoms.
How can Cystitis be Prevented?
Cystitis can definitely be more easily controlled and prevented by following some of the useful tips below:
Drink lots of water, at least eight glasses a day, to flush the system completely (which can result in healthy frequent urination). Avoid foods that may damage the bladder wall such as coffee, tea, soda, concentrated fruit juices, citrus fruit, bananas, tomatoes, spices or chocolate – a process of elimination helps. Avoid alcohol. Pay attention to signs of your body, including noticing the presence of symptoms such as strong smelling urine. Drink cranberry juice to fight off the infections and prevent bacteria.
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Empty your bladder completely when you go to the toilet. Do not try to hold urine; urinate when you feel the urge. When you visit the toilet, wipe from front to back. Avoid vaginal douches, which can introduce infection into the urethra. Wear cotton underwear and avoid tight trousers and jeans. Avoid using irritants such as soap, talc, bubble bath, or feminine products around your genital area. Urinate immediately after intercourse to flush out bacteria, and wash before and after intercourse. Reduce stress by practicing muscle exercises and managing anxiety.
The Natural Approach
While Western medicine has become the norm in many cultures, it is not the only treatment option. Conventional Western medicine (often called allopathic or orthodox medicine) is the system of medicine taught at most medical schools, and many pharmaceutical and synthetic medicines are manufactured and marketed according to the principles of allopathic medicine. Because most of us in the Western world have grown up in a society in which allopathic medicine is the prevailing norm, we forget that only a few decades ago, homeopathic, herbal and other natural medicines were commonly available and freely used-- even by conventional doctors. While there are often heated debates about which system of medicine is ‘better’ than the other, many responsible doctors (whether they are allopathic or not) recognize that both have a role to play in the treatment program. Natural medicine has often been frowned upon by conventional doctors, especially by those who do not have sufficient knowledge of these medicines. However, it is encouraging to note that some medical schools are now beginning to re-introduce it into their course work, thereby providing doctors with a wider range of treatment options from which to choose. In many countries, especially in Europe, India and China, natural and homeopathic medicines are commonly prescribed by conventional doctors and represent a significant part of the total annual drug sales. Naturopathy is a branch of medicine (just as allopathy is a branch of medicine) which operates according to the underlying philosophy that the body has an innate capacity to heal itself. While natural medicines are often called ‘alternative’ or ‘complimentary’ medicines, they are, in fact, a unique and independent form of medicine in their own right, well able to treat a variety of conditions. Perhaps the term ‘holistic’ medicine is more apt, given the broad range of treatment options and approaches which are to be found within the practice of natural medicine. This encompasses many different disciplines, including herbalism, homeopathy, iridology, osteopathy, chiropractic, therapeutic massage techniques, aromatherapy, acupuncture and many, many more. Most naturopaths will use a variety of treatment modalities in order to treat their patients in a holistic way to support health, relieve symptoms and prevent future disease. In fact, even the World Health Organization defines health as being "... more than simply the absence of illness. It is the active state of physical, emotional, mental and social well-being." This is a wonderfully clear description of holistic or natural medicine, which strives to support health (thereby relieving or preventing symptoms), rather than simply eliminating
Six Good Reasons to choose Native Remedies as your trusted suppliers of
disease. Although allopathic medicine certainly has a role to play and has made a tremendous contribution to medical science during the past century, there is a growing perception that it is not the only answer. In many cases, holistic medicine can accomplish just as much, if not more – without the risk of side effects, addiction and sacrifice to health so commonly associated with pharmaceutical drugs. Contrary to common perception, and provided that they are manufactured in the correct way, natural medicines can work quickly and safely to promote healing. In many cases, they can succeed where pharmaceutical drugs have failed. Despite frequent reports that they are ‘unproven’ and ‘untested’, the opposite is true. Natural medicines have a long history of usage and there is a wealth of empirical evidence to support their effectiveness and safety. In addition, active clinical research is carried out by many academic hospitals and universities to support the extensive traditional and empirical evidence behind natural medicines. It is also important to know that, like any medicine, herbal and homeopathic medicines must be manufactured in the correct way, following acceptable procedures and manufacturing methods to ensure maximum effectiveness and safety. Due to the recent rise in popularity of natural remedies, many companies have sprung up to take advantage of the market. Unfortunately, not all of them are equipped to manufacture to the correct standards, often resulting in a flood of inferior (and sometimes even unsafe) remedies onto the market – and giving natural remedies a bad name. Even some pharmaceutical companies have rushed to claim their market share by producing so-called ‘standardized’ extracts of herbs and offering these as superior to the tried and tested methods of naturopathic manufacturing. Nothing could be further from the truth. While ‘standardized’ extracts may offer benefit of easy consistency of dosage (and cheaper more efficient production lines), they have grave disadvantages, including an increase in side effects, as the medicines produced in this manner lose the natural protective properties of the herbs. In some cases, these side effects have proved fatal – as was seen in the liver toxicity associated with standardized extracts of kava kava, a herb previously safely used for generations without any known side effects. Most naturopaths recommend what is called the Full Spectrum Method of extraction – which retains the benefits of ALL the active ingredients within the herb as opposed to isolating only one – thereby providing a more complete treatment as well as superior protection against side effects. Whatever your choice, always choose wisely. Research what is best for you. If you have a chronic or life-threatening condition, don’t make changes without first discussing them with your doctor, in order that your condition may be monitored. Well-informed and supportive practitioners will support patients who want to take responsibility for their own health.
herbal & homeopathic remedies:
1) All Native Remedies products are manufactured according to the highest pharmaceutical standards - using only the best quality raw ingredients from nature's medicine chest. 2) Native Remedies and our suppliers are registered with the FDA as accredited suppliers and manufacturers of health supplements. Our products are sold all over the world and are manufactured to strict international standards in a GMP accredited manufacturing plant. 3) All our remedies are manufactured in an FDA registered pharmaceutical facility under close supervision. This includes formulation, acquiring and testing of raw ingredients as well as final manufacturing. This gives us the confidence to say that when you are buying a Native Remedies product, you are buying the safest and the best! We know what goes into our remedies - which is why we know what you will get out of them! 4) Manufacturing is done strictly according to the principles of GMP (Good Manufacturing Practice) and all raw ingredients undergo stringent testing before being approved by our registered manufacturing pharmacists. 5) We offer a free email Ask Our Experts service run by trained consultants ready to advise you on the best choice for your health. 6) We offer an unconditional One Year Money Back Guarantee.
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UT-Tonic: For natural urinary tract and bladder support.
Triple Complex UT-Tonic is a combination of three cellular-supporting tissue salts selected for their positive effects on urinary tract and bladder health. This combination of tissue salts can be used regularly in a general capacity to promote systemic balance in the urinary system, as well as in conjunction with other remedies to maintain therapeutic effectiveness. Tissue salts, also called cell salts or biochemic salts, are composed of minerals that occur naturally at a cellular level in our bodies and all organic matter on earth (plants, rocks, and soil). In in the system of biochemistry, there have been twelve essential tissue salts identified as important components of all body cells. Without this combination, true health is unattainable, as each tissue salt plays a different yet vital role in maintaining cellular health in the organs and systems of the body. Cell salts, or biochemic tissue salts help to maximize health efforts, and enhance the bioavailability of all supplements, remedies, and nutrients in your diet to ensure that all the cells of your body and urinary system are functioning effectively. Our tissue salts are manufactured to ensure safe yet optimum potency, and they are safe to use for all ages, as well as during pregnancy and nursing. Learn more about UT-Tonic UTI-Clear: Promotes bladder and urinary tract health. UTI-Clear is a 100% safe, non-addictive, natural herbal remedy formulated by our team of natural health experts for urinary tract health. UTI-Clear can be used consistently to safely promote health and systemic balance in the urinary system. UTI-Clear contains seven herbs selected for their supportive function in maintaining urinary tract health, normal urine flow, and sustained bladder health. UTI-Clear supports the healthy functioning of the urinary system, thereby helping to maintain balanced urine flow, suitable pH in the bladder, consistent elimination of toxins, and routine, healthy performance. UTI-Clear can make all the difference to urinary tract health, without compromising health and without the risk of serious side effects. The formula remains true to the whole spectrum method of herbal extraction, ensuring the bioavailability and balance of all the active ingredients contained in the remedy. This method of manufacture also significantly reduces the likelihood of side effects and maintains all active ingredients in perfect balance – exactly as nature intended! Learn more about UTI-Clear Immunity Plus: For full immune system support for adults and teens Read more about the Native Remedies Full Spectrum Approach™
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ImmunityPlus is a 100% safe, non-addictive natural herbal remedy formulated to safely maintain the health and systemic balance of the immune system, without harmful side effects and stimulants. ImmunityPlus contains a selection of herbs known for their supportive function in maintaining immune system health and well-being. It supports the healthy functioning of the immune system, thereby helping to maintain the natural defense against pathogens and optimum performance. As we grow older, we sometimes begin to notice that our immune systems are not as good as they used to be. ImmunityPlus can especially benefit those individuals needing to support routine immune strength to guard against common conditions associated with the maturing of cells. ImmunityPlus can be used consistently, without compromising health or causing serious side effects, to help maintain the body's natural ability to fight viral and bacterial infections-- while also supporting healthy convalescence. The formula remains true to the whole spectrum method of herbal extraction, ensuring the bioavailability and balance of all the active ingredients contained in the remedy. This method of manufacture also significantly reduces the likelihood of side effects and maintains all active ingredients in perfect balance – exactly as nature intended! Learn more about Immunity Plus Read the testimonials for these quality products here!
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